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Don't let Windows Indexing Service know too much

Keeping index files under control

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If you wish to disable System Restore, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Start menu and choose Settings ==> Control Panel ==> System to launch the System Properties dialogue (or right-click on the My Computer icon and choose Properties).

2. Choose the System Restore tab at the top of the System Properties dialogue box and choose the tick box on the line reading, "Turn off System Restore." Click OK.

3. Next, go to the Start menu, choose Run, and type services.msc to launch the Services dialogue. Find the System Restore service, stop it if it's running, set it to Disabled, and click Apply.

Temporary Files

There might be hundreds, even thousands, of temporary files on your computer. Most are deleted automatically when you shut down Windows, but whenever a power interruption or a system crash occurs, they will be left behind. They're created for scores of different reasons. Most are harmless, but it's impossible to predict what a temporary file might contain. For example, a word processor will periodically create temporary versions of documents you're working on so that if your system goes down, you'll be able to recover a recent version and very little work will be lost.

But suppose you had been composing a document that you intended to encrypt: a temporary version of the original clear-text file might be created and stored in your documents directory. If the system goes down, the temporary file will remain. We've already seen how memory swapping can cause data to be preserved in the swap file, and how the Indexing Service can record file contents. Temporary files are a third source of potentially revealing data traces. On Windows, most such files are located in directories named ~\Temp or ~\temp, and most temporary files have the extension .tmp.

From time to time, you should destroy the contents of all your temporary directories and wipe all of the files on your computer with the .tmp extension. This is quite easy using the Search Companion and a wipe utility. First you would use "temp" as a search term and find all the temporary directories (make sure your search is not case-sensitive). Most of the directories should be empty, but check each one and wipe anything you find in it. There will also be several directories called "Temporary Internet Files". Wipe the contents of those while you're at it. Next, use ".tmp" as a search term and wipe every file that the Search Companion lists. Do this as often as you please. If you do it often, fewer files will have accumulated in the mean time, so destroying them will go a lot faster. ®

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